Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A True Record Setter

By Shane Healey

Burj Khalifa, Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, became the world’s tallest building on January 4, 2010. Designed by SOM architect Adrian Smith, the 2, 717 foot structure was designed from patterns found in Islamic architecture and from the Hymenocallis desert flower. This structure has made many landmarks in the structural world. The 1.5 billion dollar building took 22 million man hours to build. The two main materials used in the building was 330,000 meters of concrete and 50,000 tons of steel creating a structure that weighs 500, 000 tones. In addition, the amount of steel used if laid end to end would extend over ¼ around the world. With a structure of major importance, symbolism interwoven throughout the design which includes: Dubai’s new wealth, optimism, reaching toward god, and international cooperation. However, with all positives there are negatives. Some believe that the Burj Khalifa symbolizes a decade of excess, fantasy, and recklessness in Dubai. In addition, some see the building as a metaphor for pursuing goals in life that ultimately prove empty. Since its opening, the Burj Khalifa has set many world records ranging from tallest man-made structure and world fastest elevator speed at 40 to highest New Years Eve fireworks displays and worlds highest swimming pool, on 76th floor. The y-shaped building contains 163 habitable floors, seven double story mechanical levels, located every 30 floors, and 2 parking levels in the basement, containing parking 3,000 spaces. In the end, with the completion of this massive structure, Dubai is becoming recognized as a true world city, like New York and London.

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